Six months ago I started this blog with President Obama’s Inauguration. That was a great day and I was very proud, once again, to be an American.
So how do I feel now, six months later?
Slightly less enthused.
I have to be honest. I feel that the hope from the red, white and blue poster of his face has tarnished a bit and the reason is a growing pit of fear in my belly that we’re still enduring business as usual with a new wolf in the sheep’s clothing. This sheep outfit just doesn’t yet have visible zippers.
Now before you go declaring me unAmerican and anti-change and some sort of sudden racist, read just one reason why (For the purpose of this blog I’m only going to focus on one of the things that has set me off):
The Goldman Sachs Connection:
2 weeks ago Goldman Sachs posted their earnings and showed quite a profit for the last quarter. They’ve paid back their TARP money in full. At first glance it seems like good news, but we should all be media savvy enough to know that the news can be spun in more ways than a spiderweb. I’m going to post links to a bunch of stories about this relationship and the situation at hand but before I do that here’s a summary:
– Goldman Sachs was one of the largest contributors to Obama’s Presidential campaign.
– A Goldman Sachs exec has ranked high in every presidential Administration since Clinton’s.
– When the financial crisis hit Goldman Sachs benefited by having their assets in other companies bailed out by the US Taxpayer (to the tune of almost 100% on the dollar). Without that help they’d have lost billions.
– The US taxpayer was not given any stake in Goldman Sachs. Now that they are profitable again by returning to their old ways of doing business (aka the very ways of doing business that led them to require a bailout in the first place) they are not sharing any of those profits with us, the taxpayer. Should they need a bailout again no doubt we’ll be there handing them cash but our hands will always remain empty. And who is making that decision for us? A whole new decider.
Angry yet? Scared? Read some of this then do your own searches. Share what you find out.
From CBSnews.com blogs:
“[Taxpayers] didn’t get stock in those banks, they didn’t ask what was going on – this begs and cries out for hard, tough examination,” he continued, complaining of “a Ponzi scheme, an inside job.”
…All this has led to more scrutiny of a company that has long been a mystery to most Americans. Because Goldman operates as both a trading house and “a fee-based adviser to the companies being traded,” as New York Magazine puts it, some have begun characterizing the company as a player that has essentially gamed the system – an entity that knows “every hand at the table and using that information to enrich itself at the expense of others.”
From Crime & Federalism:
July 17 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama announced today he was nominating Robert Hormats, a vice chairman of Goldman Sachs International, to a top economic position at the State Department.
… the media has failed to hold Obama responsible for Goldman’s actions. Every story on Goldman’s influence in government leads with the line that George W. Bush appointed former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. Most fail to note that one of Paulson’s predecessors, Robert Rubin, spent 26 years at Goldman Sachs: Rubin was a Bill Clinton appointee.
Goldman Sachs’ power extends over the Republican and Democratic fiefdoms alike.
From The Huffington Post:
I noted that, by the end of June, Wall Street had already given Obama $9.5 million, that four out of his top five contributors are employees of financial industry giants, with Goldman Sachs at the top of the list. Even conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks was appalled: “Over the past few years, people from Goldman Sachs have assumed control over large parts of the federal government. Over the next few they might just take over the whole darn thing.”
PRLog: Shows you how the banks fared in terms of costs of shares before during and after Obama’s election. Goldman’s done very well.